Even as a legal battle lies ahead, former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi secured a moral victory on Monday with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conceding a “defeat” against him in the Rajasthan Cricket Association polls.
BCCI told the Supreme Court that it knew Modi, who contested for the president’s post, had received maximum votes and that he would emerge a clear winner. “We know the result he (Modi) is a clear winner. He has 26 out of 33 votes,” BCCI’s counsel told a bench of Justices AR Dave and JS Khehar.
The submission was made as soon as the hearing began so as to prevent the bench from opening the envelopes containing the results of the poll and declare the result officially even before the BCCI’s objections to Modi’s candidature was legally examined.
The BCCI counsel contended that declaration of the result should await adjudication of their objections that Modi, who has been slapped with a life ban for financial irregularities in the IPL, could not have been allowed to contest at all.
BCCI’s counsel C A Sundaram and senior advocate Haren Raval, appearing for Modi’s rival for the post of President in RCA R P Sharma submitted that Modi was wrongfully allowed to contest and declaration of result by the court will have far-reaching repercussions.
It was also argued that since Modi was already banned by BCCI from holding any position, his taking over as RCA chief would debar the state cricket association from participating in the game and will also restrict players affiliated to it from being part of the Indian cricket team, in which there are two players from Rajasthan.
Modi’s counsel Harish Salve however opposed the contention, pointing out Srinivasan was at the helm of affairs in the BCCI despite his son-in-law facing criminal case in connection with the IPL spot fixing.
Realising that the entire controversy over the RCA polls was turning out to be a battle between Srinivasan and Modi, the bench decided to adjourn the hearing for March 4.
The bench had on the last occasion said it would declare the result of the RCA so as to decide the future course of hearing in the matter. The court had underlined that objections by the BCCI and others against accepting nomination of Modi despite a life ban would require to be heard only if he is elected.
Pursuant to the decision by its working committee, BCCI has intervened in a matter already pending before the court wherein the Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 has been challenged. Former RCA secretary Kishore Rungta had filed this petition, challenging the provision that abolished voting rights for individual members.
BCCI’s petition claimed that any sort of association of Modi with the RCA’s affairs will badly affect the image of the cricket Board. It added that Modi’s nomination was not right since RCA had imprudently rejected Board’s objections to the former IPL commissioner’s candidature.
The Rajasthan elections were conducted under the court order. The court had appointed Justice NM Kasliwal, former judge Supreme Court, and Justice SP Pathak, former judge Rajasthan High Court, as observers for ensuring free and fair election in the RCA. Both observers had rejected all objections and allowed Modi to contest for the president’s post of the RCA.
Extremely happy that BCCI knows that I have won, says Modi
London: Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi expressed happiness after the BCCI conceded his victory in the Rajasthan Cricket Association presidential election but lamented the further delay in the official announcement of the result. The BCCI told the Supreme Court that Modi will emerge as a clear winner in RCA polls but successfully opposed opening of a sealed envelope containing its results at a hearing before the apex court in New Delhi.
“I am surprised that BCCI seemed to know the result before anyone else and before the court even pronounced it. But extremely happy that they think I have won,” Modi said. The BCCI had urged the apex court to hear it before opening the envelope and declaring the result. The Court has now set March 4 as the next date of hearing on the issue.
“I am disappointed that yet again we have to wait for the results to be opened due to BCCI wanting more time to explain their stand on how they should be allowed to interfere with the democratic process. So I guess I will have to wait,” Modi added. The BCCI has been firmly opposing Modi’s return to Indian cricket administration, with lawyers claiming that Rajasthan faces expulsion from the Board if Modi becomes RCA president.